In an op-ed published in The Atlantic, NBC’s Chuck Todd calls on members of the news media to explicitly move from the role of journalists to advocate and become “more aggressive” and “start fighting back” against conservative media.
“The American press corps finds itself on the ropes because it allowed a nearly 50-year campaign of attacks inspired by the chair of Fox News to go unanswered,” Todd wrote.
Yet even as Todd positioned himself as a vanguard for the First Amendment, Todd’s column instead insulted media figures with views that Todd finds distasteful.
“Figures such as Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, and the trio of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham have attained wealth and power by exploiting the fears of older white people,” Todd wrote. “They are thriving financially by exploiting the very same free-press umbrella they seem determined to undermine.”
Todd argues that during the 1988 presidential campaign, Ailes “exploit[ed] a series of superficial issues that touched many voters’ cultural beliefs and fears about everything from the Pledge of Allegiance to furloughs for violent felons.” Yet Todd doesn’t explain why Americans shouldn’t be allowed to debate and hear news content around issues they care about and impact their daily lives.
Todd recently said Fox News created the climate of distrust against the mainstream media. I respect Chuck and enjoy working with him on air (including the night of the 2016 VP Debate), but respectfully disagree. Fox News fills an enormous void created by biased “journalists” and “reporters” playing the roles of advocates and activists. That the vast majority of “mainstream reporters” are progressive is a quantifiable fact, and this clouds their news judgment, word choice and source selection. The “Fourth Estate” is supposed to be an impartial voice for We The People—ALL the people. Diversity & inclusion means intellectual diversity, too.